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A 1532/1533 Outline Design Drawing of the Church of St. Roch in Dubrovnik

Danko Zelić orcid id ; Institut za povijest umjetnosti

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 419 Kb

str. 73-92

preuzimanja: 489



The article deals with an unsigned and undated perspective drawing containing the outline design of the church of St Roch in Dubrovnik. Even though the idea was not realized, this drawing, recently discovered in the State Archives in Dubrovnik, is indeed the only surviving piece of evidence of its kind from the period of the Dubrovnik Republic.
The church proposed by the drawing was planned at the far end of the square (today Poljana Paska Miličevića), in the immediate vicinity of the west city entrance (Pile Gate). It appears as a simple, rectangular-plan structure with two doors on visible façades. The main (north) portal features a rose window, while the gabled front of the church is surmounted by its most conspicuous architectural feature–the massive gabled bell-cot with three arched openings.
Although the design of the present church of St Roch (that would eventually be built between 1542 and 1555 on another location) differs considerably from the outlined building, it is important to stress the documentary value of visual data regarding the elevations of surrounding structures. As a matter of fact, the drawing in question is a unique testimony of the previous appearance of an otherwise unknown urban environment that has since been profoundly altered, mostly due to the damages caused by the Great Earthquake of 1667. Thus, the drawing reveals that the church of St Roch was actually intended to be built in an open area above the south part of a vast public cistern constructed under the square. The buildings surrounding the square, albeit schematically rendered, may be clearly discerned–a row of medieval houses to the left, a late-thirteenthcentury church with the monastery of the Order of St Clare to the right, as well as, behind the apse of the proposed church, a compact masonry wall, i.e. the rear façade of a house on the farthest side of the square.
In considering the dating of the drawing, it should be noted that during the Black Death of 1526, the Senate of the Dubrovnik Republic (Consilium Rogatorum) had made a solemn commitment to build a church dedicated to St Roch. Over the next few years the vow was renewed several times, but the whole project came to be hindered by the lack of an appropriate location. Ideally, the church dedicated to a holy protector against the plague was usually positioned near the city gate. In February 1532, the Senate elected three officials in charge of construction and at the same time assigned the Rector and his Minor Council the task of finding the most adequate site. In May of the following year, the Senate voted against the proposition by which the church of St Roch was to be built “above the cistern beside the monastery of St Clare”. It is therefore most probable that the drawing under consideration was drafted between February 1532 and May 1533, in order to serve as a sort of visual aid in the decisionmaking process, i.e. as a visual simulation of one of the proposed solutions. In that respect, the depicted church should be regarded as a representation of a generic building rather than an actual architectural design.

Ključne riječi

Dubrovnik, 16th century, religious architecture, plague, urban development, visual documentary sources, perspective drawing, outline drawing

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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